Neil here.

Last week, news broke that Jeff Bezos – founder and CEO of the tech behemoth Amazon – is well on his way to becoming the world’s very first trillionaire.

Now, we already knew Bezos is an exceptionally wealthy guy. His net worth stands at a whopping $149.4 billion, making him the richest man in the world by a wide margin.

But the word trillionaire is another thing entirely. Whether you like the guy or not, that’s a massive number – and a single individual harboring that kind of capital would be unprecedented.

Recently, Bezos has come under fire for his insane personal fortune. The fact he’s growing his wealth during an increasingly unstable economic crisis has many up in arms.

But I do think that this news presents an interesting case study for those of us in the startup world whose goal is to break down the walls that separate risk and reward opportunities from everyday investors like you.

And what better place to start than Amazon’s earliest days? Remember, in 1995, Amazon first launched as an online bookstore with a big vision – and it all happened in Bezos’ garage.

In its first couple of years, Amazon raised around $1 million from a handful of investors who each wrote Bezos a $50,000 check… give or take a couple of dollars. In return, each investor received a stake of less than 1% of the company, for a combined 20% equity.

These early-stage investments were supplemented by a very generous donation from Bezos’ parents… who chipped in a significant chunk of their savings – almost $300,000 – to get the company off the ground.

In its Series A financing round, Amazon raised $8 million from its only VC investment as a private company before officially going public in May 1997.

But the way I see it, Bezos missed a big opportunity… whether he realized it or not.

Let me explain. For investors who are already super-rich – like the ones who backed Amazon during its earliest days – a $50,000 check isn’t all that much.

But only a very exclusive percentage of the population has the ability to write those kinds of checks. And if opportunities like investing in the world’s next Amazon are reserved solely for society’s elite… that leaves out millions of everyday people who I believe deserve an equal shot at the same massive returns.

So, just for fun, let’s imagine a different scenario:

Imagine if instead of raising $50,000 from 20 or so accredited investors, Bezos had accepted $100, $50, or even $10 investments from thousands of people. In fact, if Bezos had accepted 100,000 investments of just $10, he would have raised the same $1 million during Amazon’s seed round.

And if we fast forward to 2026, when Bezos is projected to become the world’s first trillionaire… those 100,000 investments could have been worth around $1 million each.

In other words, an opportunity like that would have created a whole new generation of millionaires – and brought our society a little bit closer to a fairer distribution of wealth.

So instead of making thousands of people rich, Amazon’s seed round turned roughly 20 millionaires into billionaires… as usual, excluding the vast majority of the population.

That’s what really gets me. These hyper-exclusive, high-capital deals only serve to drive the wedge deeper between the wealthiest upper echelon and the rest of society.

My mission is – and has always been – to pull back the curtain on opportunities like these that were traditionally reserved for society’s wealthiest and most elite members.

I believe that everyone deserves a level playing field… because when founders let more than just the high and mighty share in their wealth, everyone benefits.

And as more and more companies choose to democratize their capital by utilizing financing methods like crowdfunding, it’ll be a revolution for everyday investors like you.

I’m so excited to have you all along for the ride as we make some serious history. Let’s keep breaking down those walls, together.

Until next time,


Neil Patel


Comments

46 responses to “We’re Leveling the Playing Field… Here’s Why”

  1. Wouldn’t it be an awesome legacy for Bezos to help the homeless with homes and a life program and the 500 k foster kids that need good homes!! Pay it forward!!!

  2. I don’t have much to invest being jobless I had to borrow the money your join angel investing but I would love to just make 90,000 so I could by a house to live in in stead of a camper

  3. Amen , you are a TRUE Visionary!! When the wealth is spread we truly become one together.

    Sincerely
    Dawn Gant

  4. I appreciate this article and the way you think. You live what you “preach.” For the first time in all my years, I get to participate in possibilities that would never have been there for me and my family. Along the way we get to be part of others dreams. Thank you!

  5. Hi Neil, I have to admit my life was missing something. Then I found Angels + Entrepreneurs. I have invested in 2 deals one with you and one on Netcapital. Doing the reasearch and looking up the answers is a labor of love. What you taught me is life changing even if I never make a dime. The fun of the due diligence just what I was looking for. Thank You for putting together an awesome learning tool!!!!! Heres to the next unicorn may we all be part of it!

  6. Hi Neil love your latter wish I cued invest 25.00 or 30.00 in something that would supplement my retirement. apertunitys like that don’t come around vary fatten. AL.

  7. Thank you for all your great insights Neil. I’ve never missed a lesson! You’ve definitely have helped us all more.

  8. I really appreciate your insight. Not a lot of rich folks think the way you do. I really applaud you sense of concern for the poor and middle class in this Country .

  9. Thanks Neil, I new you were a smart Man when I joined, now you’ve proved it to me. I look forward to working with you here in the near future.

  10. Amazing story to keep up the work on start ups investing. Good luck to all fellow investors. The sky is the limit !!

  11. Hi Mr. Patel,
    I have been thinking about being a startup investor. Nothing is easy and being an investor is not an exception.
    How can I joint the investment group?

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Thuy Truong

  12. Neil, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. A&E has opened my eyes to many opportunities. I have invested in one company so far and I am looking at 2-3 more in the very near future. Thanks again.

  13. This story motivates me more to try go out there and work even harder, to reach my goal. Thank You Neil for that story.

  14. So very true Neil. I share in your belief and optimism that crowdfunding will be one of the major investments for improving everyday people’s live’s, as well as our communities.

  15. Neil, you are so right!. What a great article. Your heart is in the right place. I only wish that more people would think the way you do. Best Regards, ZM

  16. With his approach, in the next pandemic he would have to spend all his money to be safe or go to Mars and live by himself.

  17. If the prediction of Bezos becoming a trillionaire comes
    to pass, his name will be synonyous with obscene.
    This is the kind of stuff that revolutions are made of.

  18. Great perspective and analysis Neil. I’m really enjoying being a member of A&E. Learning a ton and have invested in several companies you’ve provided deep analysis on the A&E site. Power to the common man!

  19. Neil,
    You may be the “one” who reverses a trend that has been going on for years. I am gaining courage to invest as I continue to read your messages. (My personal opinion) Elizabeth Warren has tried to tell people what is going on..but your group is doing something about it.

  20. Good job Neil on behalf of everyone out there in start up land I want to thank you so so much for giving us all a serious opportunity at changing our lives for the better what a great job you’re doing keep up the good work and God bless you thank you

  21. I would like to participate in the Angel Investing Program. Need to know more details and how it works. Helpful if I can have a phone number to contact and get more details..

    — raj

  22. I am waiting for the opportunity to invest $50.00 and see it grow….
    I dont have 100’s much less 1000’s to buy more long, (reeeaally long)
    videos and articles and books promising the big secret… 🙁

  23. I want to thank you for giving me the chance to make enough money so that I don’ t have to worry about money any more. It is a great idea which you have come with and I am so glad I joined with you in investing in startup companies. Thank you
    ,

  24. To Neil and Robert too, I really hope & pray we will all have some great fun trying to invest into qualified potential into these various start ups into a gold mine possibilities in the near future !

  25. Our philosophies, at first glance, seem very similar; starting with your comment about leveling the playing field. That’s a good start toward planting the seed of a new friendship possibility. I look forward to mutual growth.

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